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Best Coffee in LA?

Adsvino Apr 30, 2005 07:37 PM

Looking for the best cup o' joe (in store service, not interested in buying beans) in town. Please no Coffee Bean, Charbux, and I know about Urth (fave so far). Thx!

  1. m
    music78 Apr 25, 2008 12:32 PM

    Kings Road Cafe at 8361 Beverly Blvd ( corner of Kings Road ) has a terrific coffee ( especially drip one ). Peets is amazing. Aroma Cafe at 4360 Tujunga Ave in Studio City is great.

    1. s
      stopdriving Mar 11, 2008 08:06 PM

      Cafe Balcony at the intersection of Rochester and Santa Monica (and Centinela).

      Fresh beans for siphon brews, a bunch of loose teas, and excellent pulls of ILLY espresso.
      Free wifi. Limited food selection but the chicken panini is actually really good when you decide to eat there. Power outlets can be a problem since they no longer let you plug in at the bar. Hopefully that changes soon!


      1. b
        beannut Nov 2, 2007 11:44 PM

        The Conservatory in Culver City. Their Organic Espresso is delicous. Roasted in the Northern Italian tradition(not too dark). Latte art, beautiful bottomless triple ristretto(on request, nice folks. The Best!

        1. j
          Jerome Jul 31, 2007 11:40 PM

          For beans - check out Coffee Roaster on Ventura just east of Woodman.

          1. r
            revets2 Jul 29, 2007 11:33 PM

            AROMA'S certainly no secret. it's also no secret that most will go for the atmosphere, which is lovely. the coffee is satisfactory, but not mindblowing or artisanal. i know kids who've been hired as new baristas. don't get me wrong. i like AROMA and you'll find me there again, but i can't put it on a pedestal for others like CAFFE LUXXE.

            1. n
              NYCLA Aug 5, 2006 12:02 AM

              Kings Road Cafe on Beverly has the bessssst cofffffe in the world

              1 Reply
              1. re: NYCLA
                Mark Sarvas Jul 30, 2007 10:49 AM

                I second the Kings Road choice! I live in the Palisades but STILL buy beans from them.

              2. b
                brianp Aug 4, 2006 11:58 PM

                The best coffee in los Angeles is a place called Caffe Etc. in Hollywood. All there coffees are certified organic. Plus, the food is first class.

                1. r
                  revets2 Aug 2, 2006 04:30 PM

                  the beans vary. i was there yesterday and the beans were from groundworks...no complaints. i don't know if barefoot trained donny. i remembering donny saying they were very generous to him providing beans and tips for the competition, but i think he had already some years of experience.

                  we won't be spending for lattes after donny leaves (we have a machine in the office), but will come back for the incredible pastries by breadbar (i think). the almond croissant...amazing.

                  1. r
                    revets2 Aug 2, 2006 07:24 AM

                    i'm surprised folks are not talking about specific baristas.

                    we go to a place downtown where this guy, donny, makes the most ethereal espresso, cap, latte. smooth, strong with no bitterness. it's heaven. he's even made a great soy latte and i'd never really had a good soy latte.

                    sometimes he'll have a day off and it's some other guy will be manning the machine...same beans, same machine, same milk and it's not the same.

                    donny competed in his first regional barista championship and place really well given it was his first time and he didn't know he was going until two days before.

                    donny's leaving downtown this friday:( and he says our best alternative is REDCAT at the Disney Concert Hall open 9am-9pm. they pull a mean shot and knows what they're doing. our office is bummed!

                    but, you'll be able to try donny at sabor y cultura on hollywood at wilton. we look forward to making the pilgrimage there.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: revets2
                      lileor Aug 2, 2006 08:40 AM

                      Are you referring to Tao Organic in Cal Plaza?

                      1. re: lileor
                        revets2 Aug 2, 2006 03:51 PM

                        yes, but i hear donny is leaving on friday.

                        the other baristas we've tried haven't quite cut the mustard.

                        an asian fellow, frank, is not a bad alternative, but he's usually working at skewer's across the way.

                      2. re: revets2
                        ristretto Aug 2, 2006 04:16 PM

                        Barefoot Coffee in Santa Clara, one of the top cafes in the Bay Area, trained Donny (who in turn trained the staff, I believe) and is a supplier for their beans. If you feel they are going downhill, you may want to let them, or Donny, know about it.

                        You're fortunate to have two excellent cafes nearby!

                      3. c
                        czaplin Aug 2, 2006 05:45 AM

                        I was at a shoot over the weekend downtown in the Arts District, and a bunch of the crew wound up having coffee from the Ground Works on Traction around the corner from Sci-Arc. Everyone commented on how damn good the coffee was.

                        1. t
                          triplecreme Aug 1, 2006 11:47 PM

                          The Conservatory of Coffee in Culver City on Washigton Blvd, across from Sony. They roast their own beans - excellent espresso.

                          1. o
                            oro3030 Aug 1, 2006 11:45 PM

                            I like the drip coffee at Europane in Pasadena but the best coffee I have had recently comes from Antigua Cultural Coffee House in El Sereno which grows their own coffee in a family plantation in Guatemala. Free WiFi as well.

                            1. c
                              calabasas_trafalgar Aug 1, 2006 10:08 PM

                              Kelly's Coffee in Arcadia gets all of my business.

                              1. t
                                thund3rbox Aug 1, 2006 03:14 PM

                                Another vote for Groundworks (the location in the Artists District is my fav), closely followed by Peet's, and trailing for 3rd place is surprisingly, the drip coffee in Whole Foods.

                                Any tips on good coffee in Burbank greatly appreciated.

                                1. l
                                  lola May 5, 2005 01:53 AM

                                  Cayenne cafe on Beverly, 2 blocks west of LaBrea. They serve City Bean and their espresso drinks are unbelivable. They also have turkish coffee.

                                  1. j
                                    Janet May 4, 2005 06:57 AM

                                    Best coffee is at Bob's Doughnuts at the Farmer's Market on Fairfax between Third and Beverly.

                                    1. j
                                      JL May 3, 2005 03:33 AM

                                      Try the coffee at the refreshment stand during intermissions inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (downtown LA). They have great coffee. No idea where they get their beans nor how they brew it. It just rocks. I never miss the opportunity when I go see a performance there.

                                      1. s
                                        sally from LA May 2, 2005 03:35 PM

                                        The coffee at the Il Fornaio coffeshops adjacent the restaurants is really excellent. There's one in Old Town Pasadena, Santa Monica, Beverley Hills (and no doubt numerous other locations - check their website)

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: sally from LA
                                          dwg May 6, 2005 12:18 PM

                                          just in case anyone thought that rec's on this board go unchecked, i checked this one. the coffee and espresso at the BH branch is blech. coffee was, like the woman in "baghdad cafe" says, "brown water." espresso was sour. croissant was like insulation.

                                          i now dislike this restaurant for all purposes. well, consistency counts for something.

                                          Link: http://www.ablowtothehead.blogspot.com

                                          1. re: sally from LA
                                            AquaW Aug 9, 2006 04:08 PM

                                            I had a espresso shot with sabayon (sp?) last night at the Pasadena location. Delicious! (and tasted fine to me even without sugar---a rarity)

                                            1. re: AquaW
                                              revets2 Aug 9, 2006 06:14 PM

                                              where is sabayon? do you know whose beans they're using?

                                              1. re: revets2
                                                AquaW Aug 9, 2006 10:03 PM

                                                Sorry, I see the confusion now --- Sabayon was the dessert I had at Il Fornaio (italian custard with berries ~ not too sweet or heavy)! And I think they use their own proprietary blend of beans.

                                                (During their last Regional Tour of menus, one of their gifts was a coffee bar soap with their coffee grounds mixed in... really does a number on scrubbing rough spots of your body) ~ but I digress.

                                                1. re: AquaW
                                                  revets2 Aug 9, 2006 10:06 PM

                                                  oh, i get it. a bit slow. need a double shot, obviously.

                                          2. b
                                            bern1 May 2, 2005 01:14 AM

                                            There is a place called Cafe in WLA at the cross section of Rochester and SM Blvd, just 1/4 block east of Centinela. Their only coffee comes from either the espresso machine or a coffee siphon... a strange brewing device invented by the french which uses some intricate glassware and schoolbook physics to brew your coffee just below the temperature of boiling in an impressive display by your seat. This is a really nice space to enjoy a cup. It's hours are about 2-10pm.

                                            1. f
                                              Food Good May 1, 2005 05:00 PM

                                              Citybean (LA mag best of LA and Zagat best buy) which is a micro roaster provides coffee to Susina (I think the price beats Starbucks next door). The Starbucks employees go next door to Susina to have coffee!

                                              Susina is at Beverly west of LaBrea.

                                              I know they provide to other high end places but not sure where. Citybean is in Westwood but not sure if they serve a cup o' joe or just beans.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Food Good
                                                oli May 1, 2005 05:06 PM

                                                Just to add to the last post, Citybean does serve coffee in their shop. Enjoy!

                                                1. re: Food Good
                                                  carter May 1, 2005 09:23 PM

                                                  Yes, City Bean does sell coffee by the cup, and it is truly not even close to the coffee across the street at Peet's, IMHO! Used to be better when the founders still operated the retail store, but that was at least 2 owners before. Think the founders still control the wholesale side though.

                                                2. m
                                                  mobleyfan May 1, 2005 02:35 PM

                                                  Only place I've had coffee worth a darn here is at Groundworks. I will say that my last couple of drinks there were not as good as a couple of months ago. It still isn't in the league of the best places in the country but it's tolerable. I have very high standards and roast my own coffee at home. Many people like the Coffee Conservatory on Washington Blvd. in Culver City (accross from Sony) but I haven't had good luck there. Groundworks link is below, since I like their philosophy of sustainable organic coffee.

                                                  Link: http://lacoffee.com/index.html

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: mobleyfan
                                                    AltadenaJack May 2, 2005 12:46 AM

                                                    So - where is/are the retail outlets for Groundwork? They seem to have a roasting operation mid city on Venice Blvd, but where do they brew and sell cups 'o goodness?

                                                    Looks like a great place to patronize...


                                                    1. re: AltadenaJack
                                                      Adsvino May 2, 2005 01:29 AM

                                                      1501 N. Cahuenga in Hollywood. Will try Monday AM and report back.


                                                      1. re: AltadenaJack
                                                        mobleyfan May 2, 2005 11:00 AM

                                                        I've been to the Cahuenga location and the main street Santa Monica location (which is VERY tiny).

                                                      2. re: mobleyfan
                                                        Adsvino May 2, 2005 02:16 PM

                                                        Thanks to the genius of Mobleyfan and the rest of the hounds I now have a nearby place to get a great cup. Just got back from the Groundworks on Cahuenga. Didn't mention in the original post that I like lattes, etc., but to me the test of great coffe shop is their drip coffee, so that is what I usually drink on a daily basis.

                                                        Most of the offenders are either burnt, too extracted and dark (where milk doesn't even help), or too bland. I had the Rwandan coffee (yep, new to me, too) today at Groundworks and, as the barista said, it is very balanced. Not too dark, but sweet, rich and flavorful.
                                                        A truly great cup, and they sell the beans. thanks again!


                                                      3. s
                                                        Scooty May 1, 2005 02:31 PM

                                                        Know you don't want Peet's, but it is definitely the best.

                                                        One neat little place is the Conservatory in Culver City, near downtown on Washington (or maybe Culver, that area is confusing where all the streets merge.)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Scooty
                                                          flour power Aug 9, 2006 06:16 PM

                                                          I agree, the foam is like velvet.

                                                        2. c
                                                          carter Apr 30, 2005 08:06 PM

                                                          I like Peet's, especially in latte format. Tried Tremezzino and Le Pain Quotidien and they are both awful. But I will be watching for input from others.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: carter
                                                            Tusc Apr 30, 2005 09:54 PM

                                                            Am a big Peet's fan as well, the Brentwood outlet on San Vicente has a good staff and the coffee is 1st rate. They also get their pasteies from La Brea Bakery whic is a plus in my book.

                                                            1. re: Tusc
                                                              mc michael Apr 30, 2005 10:26 PM

                                                              Irth Cafe has good coffee. City Bean though rarely found is good.

                                                              1. re: mc michael
                                                                mc michael Apr 30, 2005 10:27 PM

                                                                I meant Urth Cafe.

                                                                1. re: mc michael
                                                                  tim May 1, 2005 01:05 AM

                                                                  I love groundworks in Venice.

                                                                  Especially their cafe mocha. best i have had in LA.

                                                                  1. re: tim
                                                                    condiment May 1, 2005 12:27 PM

                                                                    Still a stalwart for Il Tramezzino, the original Beverly Drive location. A sweet, sweet pull.

                                                                    1. re: condiment
                                                                      PJ May 1, 2005 09:48 PM

                                                                      Well I can only drink decaf, but I've always liked the Green Room when im in Hollywood.

                                                                      Green Room
                                                                      6752 Hollywood Blvd.

                                                                      Link: http://www.thegreenroom-hollywood.com/

                                                                  2. re: mc michael
                                                                    Adsvino May 1, 2005 12:31 PM

                                                                    As I had mentioned in the original post, I know about Urth, so, uh, thanks...I was hoping for non-chains (eliminating Peet's), maybe something distinctively LA. But we aren't really a coffe town, are we?

                                                                    1. re: Adsvino
                                                                      Pudding Bucket May 1, 2005 02:05 PM

                                                                      Casbah Cafe on Sunset in Silver Lake makes a great coffee. I've had to give specific instructions to one barista who has no clue about ratio and proportion when it comes to steamed milk and coffee but the other 4 baristas know exactly what they're doing.

                                                                      Zona Rosa in Pasadena near the Landmark Theater just off Colorado serves up gourmet Mexican beans and chocolate. The baristas are friendly and know what they're doing for the most part.

                                                                      Cafe Mi Cultura, on Hollywood Blvd. on the Western edge of Thaitown, serves up a great coffee now and then but it's unreliable.

                                                                      Swork in Eagle Rock has a cultish following. It's got a good coffeehouse feel but sometimes it seems that novelty drinks take priority over good roasts.

                                                                      The Coffee Table in Silver Lake and Eagle Rock also have loyal followings but I think their coffee drinks are weak. As proof they use enormous economy cans of Hershey's syrup in their mochas.

                                                                      1. re: Pudding Bucket
                                                                        Pudding Bucket May 1, 2005 05:06 PM

                                                                        I almost forgot Chango Coffee in Echo Park! I like their mochas but I haven't been in a while since it's not on my way to work. But it's a nice space w/ a good eastside crowd.

                                                                        Link: http://flickr.com/photos/dsnet/sets/8...

                                                                      2. re: Adsvino
                                                                        mc michael May 1, 2005 03:37 PM

                                                                        Did you miss this?

                                                                        Link: http://www.laweekly.com/ink/printme.p...

                                                                        1. re: mc michael
                                                                          Adsvino May 1, 2005 08:07 PM

                                                                          Saw it, but 1) Would like to not have to drive to Claremont, and
                                                                          2) Don't always agree with Gold (i.e. Lola's Peruvian)

                                                                          1. re: Adsvino
                                                                            mc michael May 1, 2005 10:06 PM

                                                                            More suggestions, shorter drives.

                                                                            Link: http://www.digitalcity.com/losangeles...

                                                                            1. re: mc michael
                                                                              Dr. Food May 12, 2006 05:00 PM

                                                                              The number one coffee house in the "Cup o' Joe" survey is Catalina Coffee in Redondo Beach. I agree that it has a great atmosphere and good food. But, the three times I was there, I had awful coffee. I had espresso once and lattes twice. Has anyone had a good drink here

                                                                    2. re: mc michael
                                                                      thebent1 Sep 10, 2007 06:29 PM

                                                                      I know you can get City Bean coffee at Fred 62 on Vermont/Franklin.

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